Health and Exercise Science
Second-Team Academic All-Big 12
“The coaches here have pushed me to an even greater level. I feel like if someone gives you that title of Champion, you need to give that back to someone else later in life.”
Playing college basketball wasn’t something Jamuni McNeace really considered until he was in high school, growing nearly a foot between his freshman and sophomore years. As soon as Oklahoma came calling, McNeace knew he had found his future home.
“I arrived on campus – it was just huge. There were a whole bunch of people. It was a new environment, but everyone seemed happy. I walked into the coach’s office, and, man, they all came and greeted me. They hugged me,” he said.
McNeace, a redshirt junior in the program, has built a strong relationship with head coach Lon Kruger since arriving in Norman.
“When you see Lon Kruger, you can just tell he’s a nice guy. He wants to help you and it’s just hard to find genuine people like that,” he said.
Coach Kruger, as well as strength and conditioning coach Bryce Daub, have both inspired McNeace to pursue a future in coaching, as well.
“I feel like Coach Daub has helped me so much. That aspect of the game, strength and conditioning, is where you grow. Those coaches keep you motivated, they’re the ones that warm you up before the game. They get you amped. He’s one of the reasons why I want to do that, because he makes it fun and I feel like that’s an exciting part of the game. That’s just something I want to do later in life,” he said.
“I think Jamuni is capable of anything that he wants to do.”
Daub and McNeace have formed a strong connection working together the past few seasons, and Daub recognizes the eagerness that McNeace possesses.
“I have a lot of passion for the profession; that’s why I do what I do and why I coach,” said Daub. “It goes one step further with Jamuni because it’s pretty cool to see that the stuff we are teaching him, he may then be able to use that for himself and then one day use that to educate somebody else. I think Jamuni is capable of anything that he wants to do.”
Kruger agrees, saying that McNeace’s personality on the court contributes largely to the positive attitude of the team during practices.
“Jamuni every day brings an energy to the court, an enjoyment to the court. Our guys work really hard, but we have fun doing it. We compete like crazy, but Jamuni kind of pushes that envelope in terms of laughing and competing. He’s enjoying the competition,” said Kruger.
McNeace is quick to credit his scholarship opportunity for opening new doors for him and his future and says that his success would not be possible without all of the coaches who have supported him along the way.
“These guys keep me motivated. They make sure I achieve the goals I set. They see the potential in you and they can push you towards it,” he said. “My coaches in high school have done that. The coaches here have pushed me to an even greater level. I feel like if someone gives you that title of Champion, you need to give that back to someone else later in life.”